Illinois Runs Billion-Dollar Handle Streak to 9 Months

The Land of Lincoln’s sports betting operators produced $100.9 million in revenue in May and surpassed $500 million year-to-date.

Brad Senkiw - News Editorat
Brad Senkiw • News Editor
Jul 9, 2024 • 17:24 ET • 4 min read
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Land of Lincoln kept its billion-dollar handle streak alive in May, but just barely. 

The Illinois Gaming Board reported that $1.02 billion was wagered in May, putting the year-to-date handle at more than $5 billion. 

Nine consecutive months of at least a billion dollars is the longest run since online sports betting launched four years ago. May’s handle was up 23.7% from the same month in 2023.

A healthy 9.9% hold for online and retail sportsbooks led to revenue of $100.9 million, the fifth largest of all time. Profits rose 13.3% year-over-year and 9.7% month-over-month.

The Land of Lincoln operators also surpassed $500 million in revenue for the year. 

Mobile sports betting made up nearly 93% of the total handle and $98.1 million of the revenue. Retail rallied for a 9.6% hold a month after the win rate fell below 3%.   

Playoff profits 

It’s no surprise that basketball and baseball dominated May wagering in Illinois. With the NBA playoffs going strong that month, sportsbooks took an individual-sport best $259.5 million in bets and made $12.2 million of revenue off basketball.  

With the MLB in full swing, baseball brought in $11.9 million of profits on a handle of $221.6 million for a better win rate of 5.4%.   

Tennis was third in handle with $85.9 million wagered, while the NHL playoffs helped operators produce a 6.8% hold on a $42.6 million handle in May.    

Parlays produced a 21% hold for Illinois sportsbooks and more than $56 million in revenue on a handle of $271.8 million. 

FanDuel flourishes 

Operator May Handle May Revenue
DraftKings $380 million  $29.8 million
FanDuel $339.7 million $42.9 million
BetRivers $66.2 million $6.5 million
ESPN BET $50.1 million $4.7 million
Fanatics  $47.9 million $6.5 million 
BetMGM $45.5 million $3.6 million

DraftKings topped the handle chart for the fourth consecutive month in Illinois with $380 million wagered in May. The $29.8 million revenue on a hold of just less than 8% was up nearly $2 million from April.

Thanks to a 12.7% hold, FanDuel had the strongest month in terms of revenue, reaching nearly $43 million on a handle of $40 million less than DraftKings'. FanDuel has surpassed $200 million in revenue year-to-date and is closing in on $2 billion in wagers.    

BetRivers held down the third spot again with a handle of $66.2 million while ESPN BET, the only other operator with a handle of more than $50 million, produced a 9.3% handle. The book moved above BetMGM after its handle fell 17% month-over-month.

Fanatics enjoyed a 13.8% hold on a $47.9 million handle. Caesars fell out of the top six after generating $41.7 million in the amount wagered. 

Tax time 

Illinois sports betting operators sent $15.1 million in taxes to the state. Cook County hauled in nearly $1.1 million for its share of the sports betting revenue in the Chicago area. 

There’s only one month left before sportsbooks in the Land of Lincoln begin reporting figures within a new tax structure. The 15% rate ended in June, and a progressive structure that begins at 20% and scales as high as 40% based on the amount of revenue went into place on July 1.  

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